Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to Basics

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.  ~Mignon McLaughlin

I'm on a mission to update my closet.  I feel like I have a more grown-up life now, living in my own place, working at my grown-up job (I discount the fact I could show up in sweat pants; even grown-up jobs need a little leeway), and need some "adult" clothes to show off my newly stated independence.  Of course, there's always that undeniable fact that my closet space has shrunk by approximately 2/3rds.  It might look like I'm complaining but really I'm ecstatic.  I've been wanting to simplify for sometime now (clothes as well as other facets of my life), and having reduced space is just the swift kick I need.

The goal is to buy some solid pieces for spring/summer to update my wardrobe, throw out some stretched out tee's, and not dread getting dressed in the morning. I need things I can mix and match, and as Kat informed me the other day, I'm sometimes not so good at matching (I like to think that's done out of choice and not ignorance, although I'll sometimes admit to both).

Em has this relaxed but professional and put together sense of style I envy.  I'm hoping our soon-to-be shopping trip will allow some of her expertise to rub off on me.  I was that freshman girl in high school in wide-leg pants and extra large tee shirts and part of me has never truly outgrown that phase.  I like to be comfortable and will choose comfort over style any day (honestly, who wouldn't?).  Right now I'm sporting slightly worn straight-leg jeans, a black and green plaid zip down pullover with a hood, and a light blue three-quarter sleeve tee.  See, the epitome of fashion.

What sparked this not-so-sudden desire to change my outward coverings, besides the magical shrinking closet, was a short shopping trip with Kat on Tuesday.  We made a quick lap around the mall before heading to Marshall's, mostly to look at the housewares section and dream about decorating.  I had decided a few weeks ago I wanted this summer to be the summer of skirts and flowing, girly clothes.  Kat was present when I first made this declaration, so we headed to look at skirts and dresses.  Long story short, I bought two (going almost double on my spending budget for the day).  They are both longish, falling below the knee.  One is black and white with a geometric pattern and the other is blue with a gauzy overlay and large schematic flowers skirting the bottom.

[no pun intended]

It's probably a good thing I don't get many new clothes because I was almost late for work trying on different combinations to find something that worked together.  In the end I left feeling rushed and a lot less confident in this spontaneous purchase than I had hoped.  I don't feel like I matched at all, pairing the blue skirt with olive and blue Tom's, and a coral colored top.  Live and learn, right?  I guess growing up in your wardrobe can be just as hard as growing up in other ways.

Any suggestions on how to pair things together and make smart spending choices?  My friend Brit and I are going shopping tomorrow before celebrating her birthday with dinner, and while I doubt I'll purchase anything, I've learned it's not safe to promise such things.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lessons on Friday?

When I first started this blog I had high hopes.  I wanted to write frequently and be totally honest about life and my view of it.  Seeing as how the first one has fallen by the wayside, let's move on, shall we?

Today I'm feeling moody, which includes (depending on when you ask me) hopeful, lonely, rejected, productive and expectant.  I always have high hopes for weekend time off, which comes so few and far between (and by that I mean once a week of course).  This Friday has been everything I haven't expected.  So what have I done today?  After I got off work I went walking for 30 minutes around the neighborhood, swept the balcony (finally ridding it of those fall leaves to fully welcome spring on Sunday), finished a book, started a second, reheated a leftover dinner from Tuesday night, finished the last of a bottle of wine, took a bubble bath, and finished the gifts I'll give to my ballet class on Monday.  All this in the span of 5 hours.  I've got the productive yet lonely feeling down pat.

It's not that I don't like time to myself, everyone needs it and I enjoy mine like anyone else.  But I seem to feel best when I have a lot going on, scheduled back to back with things to do and people to see.  Not to mention that Friday night does not seem like a natural day to have "me time".  I want to be out, seeing friends or having people over, but lately it hasn't seemed to work that way.  At least I got stuff done, and while I fear tomorrow night might be a close second to this evening, maybe I'll finally get those pictures hung in my room.

This is not meant to be a poor-me post.  I recognize that it's important to learn how to live with yourself and be still and rest.  I'm just not very good at it most of the time.  Here's to learning something new every day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I made dinner again tonight (second time this week!).  Tuesday night Katrina and I made chili, which might just be the easiest thing ever.  Then tonight I had fish, rice and veggies.  It was super easy and super good.  My secret?  Frozen fish and veggies.  Although I would love one day soon to learn to cook these multicolored beans from fresh produce, the frozen variety will have to work for now. 

While I have finally gotten comfortable with the oven, I still find myself calling mom asking her for advice.  Tonight the question was whether a cookie sheet would suffice for the fish, as I was without the shallow baking pan cited in the directions.  But despite this minor substitution, everything finished cooking at the same time (a skill I am far from mastering).  I am also convinced that some cooking magic still resides in my grandma's pots and pans.  She was one of the best cooks and I like to think that I inherited a bit of that talent (or maybe the pots are just lucky).

An added bonus to help make today fabulous - I won breakfast at work tomorrow for having the highest referral rate among the newbies!  Now, take a look at tonight's dinner and try not to be jealous. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Today was my first "official" day on the job, getting up before the sun (at least until daylight savings time begins/ends...I don't know which one makes the days last longer) and trying extra hard to adhere to my schedule.  Nothing terribly notable on the whole except the occasional "you people" calls and the cute old ladies who end my day on a good note.

After work I headed to St. John's for youth Sunday.  I missed going to COR for normal Sunday morning service, and having to work today makes it feel too much like a normal weekday for my liking.  Now I'm never going to know what day it is.  St. John's is more structured than COR and actually attending service instead of just helping with the youth is going to take some getting used to.  Lots of ups and downs and repeating together.  But we are able to take communion every week and I'm pretty sure that is one of, if not my absolute favorite, part of church.  There's something about people approaching the same table, treated the same regardless of age, race, or station in life, standing with open hands, expectantly waiting to receive. 

Youth Sunday was so good and I was so proud.  All the youth groups participated by cooking the meal, leading the songs, even giving the main talk.  Instead of having traditional youth group this evening we had a "congregational conversation," where youth and adults sat in groups and discussed questions that had been submitted at last years meeting.  It was impressive (as always) getting to hear the kids thoughts on things.  Watching the kids step up and take leadership roles makes me super happy.  I did get asked, however, by one of the older ladies after the service if I was a mom of one of the kids - I hope I don't look that old.

Another day of work tomorrow followed by grocery shopping, checkbook balancing and ballet teaching.  Stoked about Tuesday, my first day off in over a week.  But for now I'm off to enjoy a half hour of Forrest Gump before crashing at my new old lady bedtime of 10pm.  I'm awesome.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Work Woes

It's sad that the first thing that makes me want to blog is a bad phone call at work.  Actually, I've had a few ideas in the 15 days since my last entry, but nothing has materialized.  I spent almost a week feeling like I was coming down with some sort of yucky sickness, but that seemed to have passed.  I was hoping to have a witty, photo-filled entry from the housewarming party Em and I had with some of my (former) co-workers, but I ended up having to bail on that because I was feeling so gross.  I had spent a few days at home after mom and I went to the Brad Paisley concert the other weekend, and ended up going back once I started feeling bad.  But, let's get back to the meat and potatoes of this entry...

I had the first really bad call since I started at this new job.  It wasn't even the fact that the lady was very sternly and loudly stating her side of things, but more the fact that I felt powerless to help her.  I'm still new and while there's a lot of things I know, there's a lot of things I don't.  While this woman was asserting her view, I was desperately searching for a way to ease her distress and it wasn't until 15 minutes into the one-sided conversation that I realized I'd been looking in the wrong place the whole time.  Damn.  I could have saved her a lot of frustration and me a few seconds of ashamedly watering eyes if I had just known where to look.  Luckily I was able to compose myself without drawing attention to those outside of my cubicle.  Normally I don't let the bad calls get to me but something about this one was different.  Hopefully this is not an occurrence that repeats itself often.

On a lighter note, I did get a rather humorous call earlier in the day.  An older gentleman called in with some basic questions, which I was able to answer for him.  As I was wrapping things up, he told me I had a very pleasant demeanor and told me to keep it up.  He then proceeded to ask where I was located, so I told him VA, to which he stated "Well, sounds like I've got to get myself down to VA."  And I thought this job would be boring -